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  • The 5 Friend Subtypes in Your 30s

    The types of friends you have in your thirties change drastically from your twenties. This is true regardless of social class, but when there’s a general “understanding of money” things get more nuanced.

    1. The Favor Friend

    This doesn’t mean you’re actually using someone for favors. It means you use each other for favors. This could be your child’s friend’s mother (aka playdate friend) or it could be the environmental pet sitter you may not really “get” but you make small talk with anyway. The favor friend usually lives close by and comes bearing wine. 

    1. The Husband’s Friend’s Wife

    This friend is a foray into a world you never see. She may have absolutely nothing in common with you, but can be a good source of information. At a dinner party these are the women who will congregate in the kitchen afterward where you’ll stand wondering if you’re banished to the dishes or hoarding the interesting conversation. 

    1. The Activity Friend

    You really don’t see your activity friend outside of the activity. She could be someone you volunteer with or, more likely, a yoga partner. Together you’ll talk about the unfair restraints put on women while simultaneously building abs and confidence. The Activity Friend doesn’t actually need to be the same age and may in fact be in her fifties. She still knows all the foreign movies you need to watch.

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  • How To Impress High Society Liberals: The “Good Art” Post

    There’s nothing rich people like more than finding unusual street art in different countries. 

    Harry Greb

    Harry Greb is a Roman street artist recently known for painting anti-Putin graffiti in Europe. Although he started off exclusively using graphic design techniques, he has multiple mixed media paintings in addition to his murals. His social commentary piece of Donald Trump as Godzilla can be purchased online for under $3000. 


    Stinkfish is an urban artist from Colombia that paints both murals and canvas.  By photographing random people on the street, he is able to stencil their faces onto brightly colored backgrounds. The look is part acid trip/part graffiti. Typical pieces range from $1000 – $50,000. 

    Luis Sven Martins

    Also known as L7M, Luis Sven Martins is known for his series of graffiti birds. He primarily uses spray paint, but works with a variety of mediums. Although his murals are located in Brazil, his mixture of realism and fantasy art can be found in select museums around the globe.

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  • Look Like You’re Working

    Is productivity a threat to feminism?

    I was reading a blog post that said something like “Is Kanye a Sociopath?” when I could feel someone from behind looking at my screen. Since, as we have already established, I am an insecure woman in her thirties, I want people to think I’m smart.

    2022 Personal Data

    For people who work and want to enjoy easy-to-read content without feeling judged, I have come up with a brilliant idea.

    Current and Future Privacy Policies

    Creating fake titles for blog posts and newsletters will help readers appear productive in public settings such as work or coffee shops. In fact, I am currently demonstrating the readability of this article right now.

    November Comprehensive Review

    The intense need for wealthy people to prove they are productive is rampant in Northern Virginia. The guilt felt by women seems particularly unbearable. Suddenly eating Wheat Thins while watching Buying Beverly Hills seems like more of a crime than tax fraud.

    Is Mindfulness the Only Way Women Can Relax?

    The mindfulness craze is pretty much everywhere and, while I agree with the sentiment, it’s having the opposite impact of empowerment for many women. The competitive wellness industry includes brands like LuLu Lemon or, more recently, Girlfriend Collective that hint at a new type of relaxation. This new chill-time can potentially make women thinner, toner, and more productive. What could be more relaxing than that?

    As I looked around the cafe where I was reading about Kanye’s lack of empathy I noticed only the older women were wearing yoga clothes. The thin girls with ponytails and stretch bras were actually women in their 40s. How much time does it take to look that relaxed? Is this what I’ll need to do to keep up?

    Final Report

    Do wealthy women naturally gravitate toward ambitious activities or am I just lazy? In the privacy of a friend’s home she casually mentioned Kanye’s mental health problems to me. This was common knowledge, she said.

    But if everybody already knows this gossip, when and where are they reading it? I don’t have the ambition to try to destigmatize a relaxing easy-read, but I can make it easier to view in public. 

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  • The Halloween Party

    When You’re Too Old For Sexy School Girl, But Too Young For Fire-Truck Stroller

    Let me first say, do what you want on Halloween. It’s the one night when pretty much anything goes. 

    Let me also say, what’s cool changes. 

    Should you wear a sexy costume?

    It depends. 

    Do you have children old enough to entertain themselves?

    Do you feel back fat?

    Are you wearing tights?

    Are you wearing Spanx?

    Does the event start later than 8pm?

    Is there food involved?

    Will you need to sit down?

    If you want to wear a sexy costume while trying to fit in with a wealthy crowd, consider irony. Apparently rich people accept pretty much anything if there is a certain kind of cynicism paired with a nod to history. The best kind of history, of course, is the absurd.

    Think: Ada Lovelace,  a female version of Capote, Ereshkigal (Queen of the underworld in Sumerian mythology), Mary “Texas” Guinan (Queen of NYC nightlife during Prohibition). If you can’t think of anything else, just type “made for TV saleswoman”. 

    What About Children?

    Babies and toddlers can only be used as accessories in one circumstance: the house party. This is a different type of house party than the ones that were fun in our twenties. This is the kind of party where small dishes of pastizz and tiropita are served outdoors while giving candy to the peasants. Aka not the host’s children.

    Babies (only one per person – parents of multiple children are not invited) can be dressed up to match their parent regardless of how ridiculous it looks. This works because a.) the baby costumes are worth over $80 and b.) if you’re not old enough to need a multi-seat-fire-truck-stroller, you still have plenty of child-free friends.

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  • We Have “Help”

    But never talk about it.

    I thought I knew what a nanny was. She was like a babysitter, but worked longer hours. Maybe.

    The definition shifts depending on who you talk to. In the group of women I’m around, nannies occasionally appear in the back of one’s story or maybe in a text. Otherwise they aren’t mentioned. 

    The couple who has had the most money for the longest period of time doesn’t have a nanny. The mother talks about her two children (under 5) as if they are beloved puppies with occasional outbursts around playtime. Although the couple still goes out for dinner, their kids never show up. 

    Where are they?

    “They’re with the sitter.”

    The Babysitter

    The babysitter is presumably someone you pay to watch the children while you’re out. I typically think of a teenage girl from the same neighborhood. Maybe a friend’s kid. 

    Apparently this is somewhat outdated. 

    Babysitting is now a profession complete with online applicants and accompanying photos. Their bios are brief and usually include something about diet and cooking skills. Surfing through the site my friend gave me, I found quite a few men as well as women. “Responsible masculinity” is a key selling point.  “Mannies”

    Babysitters are for more than just a night out. They now include all-day services and carpooling. The biggest difference I could find between babysitting and nannying is the pay. Babysitters are paid by the hour.

    Newborn Caregivers

    This name initially made me think “professional wet nurse”. Luckily, they aren’t paid for breastfeeding.

    Newborn caregivers help out new mothers. They can spend the night so moms can get some real sleep or they can work during the day. Newborn caregivers are time limited in other ways. 

    Around here, grandmothers will often hire a newborn caregiver for their just-out-of-the-hospital daughter. They do things like laundry, feeding, and even changing diapers. Contrary to what I assumed, women without postpartum depression use newborn caregivers all the time. They usually stick around for the first three to six months. 

    The Au Pair

    An Au Pair is basically a live-in nanny. They are a part of the family and usually live in the home they work for. I know at least one couple who hires an Au Pair for the summer.

    Typically Au Pairs charge anywhere from $1200 to $1600 per month. This does not include room and board. I’ve noticed that full-time Au Pairs usually have some sort of familiar name to the children. One child calls her Au Pair “Aupa”. This is not to be confused with Amah which is similar to an Au Pair, but also includes cleaning services.

    “We Have Help”

    I’ve heard this sentence more than once. It’s something I’m tempted to say when referring to GrubHub, but never do.

    “Help” is very rarely talked about in my community. It’s understood, but the technicalities are private.

    Is there shame about it? For some, I think so. The ones that don’t work tend to throw themselves into their children’s schooling. But for other aspects of mothering, I’m not sure how help is configured. Quietly, I imagine. Somewhere behind closed doors. 

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  • The Social Hierarchy of Yoga

    Originally I thought all yoga classes were basically the same: Lululemon-clad women in their 30’s stretching in impossible poses (while pretending they aren’t impossible). Turns out there’s a whole system. 

    A Trip Through Northern Virginia’s Yoga Scene

    Much to my displeasure, my friend decided to “initiate” me into the world of yoga by demanding I attend different classes with her.

    Yin Yoga

    The Yin Yoga class was located in a studio with floor-to-ceiling windows and several full-length mirrors. We got there just after sunrise. Before heading inside there were a few small groups of women drinking out of styrofoam cups with tea saucers printed on the side.

    This is the type of yoga I am most familiar with (from movies). There was a brief 5-minute warm up and then a series of long poses. Although the class promised it was for beginners, I would soon find out that all yoga classes are labeled “for beginners”. 

    Advanced and intermediate classes don’t exist for those willing to pay $55 per session. (Because ambition means never reaching the top??)

    At the end of class we discussed vaguely mindful topics: dietary restrictions, inflammation, stress. At one point we wisheed those we dislike the courage and wisdom to find peace. I found this condescending, but the woman in Ozaiic ballet socks in front of me found the process “healing” when thinking about her co-worker. Amanda.

    Hot Yoga

    Hot yoga is actually called Bikram yoga, but “hot” makes more sense. Not only is the heat cranked up, but pretty much everyone looks driven, disciplined, and ripped. There were virtually no overweight women in the class I went to. As someone who is average weight with a little chub, I felt obese.

    A lot of women wore those neon, animal print tank tops with the giant arm holes. Frankly, I was too intimidated to talk to the people in hot yoga. 

    1. They seemed to all arrive with close friends. 
    2. I could never admit to having zero hobbies. 

    Even if they didn’t ask, I’d feel like I should say something about rock climbing on the weekends or jet skiing in the summer. Basically anything cooler than Hulu and stouffers. 


    Kundalini is the closest form of yoga I feel comfortable doing in public. The focus is on spinal flexion and your inner core. There’s a lot of talk about “energy” and breathwork and though there might have been crystals in the back room, none were used.  

    As for clothing, think: early 2000’s yoga videos set in the rainforests of South America. The slightly flared, baggy cotton pants with drawstrings? They’re here!

    Apparently the word Kundalini is associated with feminine power. After our session one woman said she started practicing Kundalini after her second pregnancy to get in touch with her “womb”.  I didn’t push for more information, but she seemed really nice!


    I don’t know if I’ll go back to any of these classes, but it was interesting to see how a group of people in the same income bracket center themselves. 

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  • How To Change an Argument Into A Debate

    Politics anyone?

    Politics has, in my opinion, ruined all conversation for the past several years. Since a lot of us are burned out and already politically aligned, discussions have turned ugly, personal, and hard to get away from. Rather than avoid difficult topics, I try to discuss what’s behind them. 

    This makes for an interesting conversation as well as an opportunity to (successfully) debate.

    The Situation 

    You’re in the middle of a heated discussion at a sit-down dinner. Your friend and the person you just met are practically leaning over the table, talking a mile a minute, and have begun to repeat themselves. The conversation is dissolving into chaos.

    There are a lot of people at this dinner. You don’t feel comfortable joining the discussion, but you liked listening before it became an argument.

    How do you get this conversation to shift without losing the same kind of passion that originally captivated the table?

    Take a closer look at the topic

    Debates are usually over concrete situations or issues. But the important part of any discussion is the emotion and concern below the surface.

    If the conversation is about abortion, you can bet the root of discussion lies in equality.

    If it’s about vaccines, the underlying issue might be a lack of societal trust.

    The root feeling or concern lurking below an issue is actually an opportunity to change topics without losing passion. 

    Example 1

    Going back to abortion, if you think the root concern is equality, what other topics relate to equality? If you’re at a loss for words, simply ask the group: how would you define equality?

    Example 2

    Police brutality. The undercurrent of the conversation has to do with safety. You could say: how would you define safety?

    Or you could pick any other topic that has to do with safety for a clean segway (Do you feel safe in your city? If not, why?)

    3 Steps To Save Any Discussion

    • State the concrete argument
    • Find the underlying feeling or concern
    • Articulate how that feeling or concern branches into a wider topic

    This can be done in virtually any setting.

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  • The Women of White Wine

    What Your Type of White Wine Says About You

    Different wines suggest different things. While, of course, there are exceptions, a few types of wine are often paired with a few types of people.


    Easy to pronounce and always on the menu. Chardonnay is a classy drink for the evening, but it has a heavier alcohol content than other white wines. 

    While flavors drastically vary, it tends to be more on the dry side. Rarely do you see college kids drinking the type of Chardonnay that prioritizes buttery flavors (think: Sigrid Chardonnay). Unfortunately, since the flavor is so obvious, many wine snobs dislike it simply based on its lack of subtlety. 

    People that order Chardonnay usually don’t look at the menu. It’s less about the type of wine than it is the wine. 

    Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is typically a summer wine. Because it’s more fruity than Chardonnay, it tends to be a younger-crowds white. It’s a significant step up from Reisling, but sweet enough to make a graduate student happy. 

    California has some of the best bottles. Geyser Peak Winery is known for its passion fruit and lemongrass. Slightly more expensive bottles come from New Zealand. Their Sauvignon Blanc often includes gooseberries.

    I tend to think of Sauvignon Blanc as a woman’s drink with the average age hovering around 28. It can be served with almost any type of fish.

    Pinot Grigio

    Pinot Grigio has a slightly lower alcohol content than Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. This makes it perfect for “ladies who lunch”.  

    A high-quality bottle will provide a light, but crisp flavor with a hint of fruit. According to The Manual, the Eyrie Vineyards and the Ronco Blanchis are the two most popular Pinot Grigios of 2022. 

    Its sweet, but subtle flavor is much less ostentatious than, say, a white Zinfandel. If white wine was a group of middle school girls, Pinot Grigio would be the pretty, traditional one, too shy to step into the middle of a crowd.


    Voignier is not found on every menu, especially in the U.S. Perhaps it’s for this reason that Viognier is known as the hipster wine. 

    It tastes similar to Pinot Grigio, but with more fragrance. You can smell the fruit. Although it’s far from being a cocktail, it’s not nearly as dry as champagne.

    Viognier can be more expensive than other white wines. Typically it’s paired with rich foods or brie cheese. Clonakilla from New South Wales is one of the more popular bottles available.

    Other “Wine Personalities”

    I’m sure all other drinks have their set of stereotypical drinkers. For me, it’s about how much alcohol someone drinks rather than the type. 

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  • Who Are the “Cool Girls” At Thirty?

    Because we can’t wear Abercrombie forever.

    Being “cool” is not cool in your 30’s. Except that’s not exactly true. Being “cool” as in dancing-at-nightclubs-with-cyber-goth-dreads is not cool. Being cool in your 30’s means something else.

    It means pretending you don’t care what other people think. It means saying things like “Just love yourself and the rest will come.” It means wearing Keds on the beach and embracing your laugh lines (but also getting *minimal* Juvederm).

    Here’s What Looks Cool In Your 30s

    1. Spousal travel. Still being adventurous while you’re newly married (because kids are coming in the next two years) says you’re free, but not afraid of commitment. Exotic places that are off the beaten path (read: not Europe) are preferred. 
    1. Investing. It doesn’t really matter what you invest in as long as you can slip it into casual conversation. Invest in stocks (mutual funds are just as good). Invest in unique art (bizarre obscure art is the least expensive). If you’re actually wealthy, invest in property. Unless it’s in Missouri.
    1. Volunteering. Now that you’re in your advanced youth you have something of value to give back. Whether it’s teaching English or hosting charity dinners, it’s all the same (unless it’s a soup kitchen. Don’t volunteer in a soup kitchen unless you loudly identify as Christian). 
    1. Unique education. This doesn’t actually mean going back to school. It also doesn’t mean signing up for a HubSpot class. It means educating yourself about something strange that most people haven’t thought about. If you’re going to learn a language, learn Mandarin. If you’re going to study history, study Bulgarian history. You get the picture.
    1. Dinner parties. Going out for drinks is something that twenty year old college students do. Dinner parties involve couples and singles who could potentially be couples. It involves the Buena Vista Social Club soundtrack (still!) and a cooked meal with sides. Do not ask others to bring food. If they have any class they will invite you to their own dinner party where they will serve the food.

    I’ve discovered 30 year old popular girls are essentially the same as 13 year old popular girls. They like to do things. Do they sit around and analyze? Sure. But not until after they’ve done something cool. 

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  • How To Eat Out and Stay Thin

    Fancy food vs. Diner food

    I used to feel like every time I saw the menu I:

    A.) didn’t understand it


    B.) just wanted something comforting

    The majority of my social and business events involve dinner or brunch. Even if I wanted to, I can’t just sit there and not eat without looking weird.

    This cheat sheet is for those who have to eat out and really don’t want to gain weight. Below is a list of low calorie foods that won’t make you look like you’re dieting. Because as we all know, dieting is a dirty word.

    Diner Food

    Grilled cheese. It’s good comfort food. It gives off the impression you don’t try particularly hard (but if you’re at a diner, that doesn’t really matter anyway) and most grilled cheese sandwiches are about 500 calories max. That means it’s great for an entire meal (no chips).

    Pancakes. This is another surprisingly low-calorie meal for keeping your weight in check. Two pancakes are approximately 300 calories without syrup or butter. 

    Chinese Broccoli Beef. Panda Express serves Broccoli Beef with only 200 calories.

    Oatmeal. This is only 200 calories per cup (with honey). May seem a little geriatric as far as food goes, but it will keep you full forever.

    Soup! Always hydrating. Usually low calorie. No bread necessary.

    Sometimes ordering two appetizers instead of an entree can also work.

    Fancy Restaurant

    It’s much more difficult to count calories at a fancy restaurant. Eating certain types of food is more effective for weight maintenance.

    Rainbow trout. Pretty much all fish is good for dieting. Even if it’s served with butter fish is still better than a lot of other entrees. Plus the sides usually end up being some type of vegetable rather than mashed potatoes or a loaf of bread.

    Escargot. It’s served at almost every French restaurant in America. Snails are low calorie and actually reduce your risk of heart complications. Frogs legs are another one that’s considered healthy, but watch the sauce. 

    Open-faced sandwiches. These are amazing. You still get to eat a sandwich, but with half the calories. Plus they look dainty so it’s not as if you’re eating a salad while everyone else is scarfing down duck.

    Burger, no bun. Order this with a side salad. The burger is only 200 calories.

    Champagne or red wine. Personally, white wine is my favorite, but the calories do add up. Since I usually have a few drinks if I’m eating somewhere fancy, I go for pinot noir.

    Grilled, steamed, and roasted dishes tend to have less fat. Avoid pan-fried, crispy, and scalloped. 

    Sadly scallops and potatoes are not as healthy as they should be.

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